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Advice on a ~$1000 multitasking & graphics build

Last response: in Systems
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August 5, 2011 2:26:27 PM

Hello,

I typically have three screens going: 1. Graphics program for drawing, 2. Database for managing stocks, 3. On-line web conference. I feel like a gaming setup would be good. Because of multitasking expect I-7 2600 best, and 16 GB ram. Don't know if need higher capacity graphics. Looked at Gateway FX and it is hard to beat price! Suggestions?
August 5, 2011 2:59:49 PM

Do you have a budget in mind?
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August 5, 2011 3:19:30 PM

Engima said:
Do you have a budget in mind?

Yes, I am trying to keep it below $1,000. I am new at this, but read through the suggtested articles, and it looks like some of my thoughts may be overkill. The largest overkill may be my choice of CPU. I like what I have been reading about the I-7 2600, but don't know enought to figure what I loose with each step down.
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August 5, 2011 9:15:53 PM

There's usually a speed plateau in terms of processor speeds and right now it's around 3.3GHz. Right now it seems like the i5-2500 is the best bang for your buck (3.3GHz stock). A .5GHz downgrade (i5-2300) will only save you $30 but a .1GHz upgrade (i7-2600) will cost an extra $100. To me the 2600 (~$300) isn't worth it on a $1000 budget. However, the i7-2600 includes hyperthreading while the i5-2500 does not and hyperthreading does help with the multitasking that you're looking for. It's personal preference, but I built a pc recently based on the i5-2500K (the K just means it's unlocked easier to overclock) and I have no problems at all with multitasking - it runs like a charm. In a 3 monitor setup, you might want to go with the i5 and use the $100 savings on a better video card.

As a final thought, if your main concern is multitasking, 16GB of RAM is a good choice, but make sure that if you're using Windows you use a 64-bit OS because the 32-bit versions of Windows don't support over 4GB of RAM
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August 5, 2011 9:18:49 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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August 6, 2011 12:50:44 AM

The 2600k is a great choice for multi-tasking, mostly because of hyper-threading.
That would be a very viable option. Also, large amounts of ram as opposed to smaller amounts, at a higher clock frequency is better for multi-tasking.
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August 6, 2011 12:52:32 AM

danraies said:
There's usually a speed plateau in terms of processor speeds and right now it's around 3.3GHz. Right now it seems like the i5-2500 is the best bang for your buck (3.3GHz stock). A .5GHz downgrade (i5-2300) will only save you $30 but a .1GHz upgrade (i7-2600) will cost an extra $100. To me the 2600 (~$300) isn't worth it on a $1000 budget. However, the i7-2600 includes hyperthreading while the i5-2500 does not and hyperthreading does help with the multitasking that you're looking for. It's personal preference, but I built a pc recently based on the i5-2500K (the K just means it's unlocked easier to overclock) and I have no problems at all with multitasking - it runs like a charm. In a 3 monitor setup, you might want to go with the i5 and use the $100 savings on a better video card.

As a final thought, if your main concern is multitasking, 16GB of RAM is a good choice, but make sure that if you're using Windows you use a 64-bit OS because the 32-bit versions of Windows don't support over 4GB of RAM


It is not all about the clock speed of the cpu. There are many other factors that alter performance. Do your research.
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August 6, 2011 12:34:40 PM

Thanks, that helps a lot. I know enough to be dangerous and have heard of some good stuff, but can’t figure out where to maneuver in the thousands of parts available. Your explanation is good that is shows the reasoning and makes sense. Also, I was trying to convenience myself that 16GB of ram was not overkill. It seems easy to get to 8GB, and I might stop there.

This leads me to trying to look at motherboards and video cards. I tried to choose a couple I7-2600 mother board and CPU bundles looking on Ebay, but it took most of the budget there.

Do you have any advice on how I choose a motherboard and video card? I have no idea what a good motherboard or bad motherboard is. As far as video cards, I would assume that, for my purpose, any of the popular gaming cards with 1GB of memory would work well. I am currently using an ATI Radeon HD 4550 and the right monitor flickers and I have not been able to figure out what is wrong.

Thanks
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August 6, 2011 4:25:18 PM

Are there any parts that you don't need/ already have?
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August 13, 2011 3:46:57 PM

The only parts I have that I would want to reuse are video cards and hard drives. I figure my hard drive will be a backup to the new one; with most new drives being 1 to 1.5 T, there is no reason to keep a small one except as backup. I probably need to make sure the new main drive has a good seek time.

Regarding the video cards, mine are a few years old, and like one person said; I may want to invest in a better video card. One problem is I don't know what I need in a video card. My original thought was that if I bought a gaming card, it would handle my graphics. But, I use photoshop a lot, and use other graphing programs in engineering.

Therefore, what special features in a video card do I need? Also, If I want to use two or three monitors, do I need two or three video cards? Currently, I am using two video cards and seem to have a few issues.

What is the best setup for two monitors and what is the best setup for three monitors?

Thanks
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